"Messages Birding-aus" <>
"Shirley Cook" <>
Mon, 1 Mar 2010 06:34:55 +1100
The Bird Observer publishes many casual observations and Wingspan publishes
less formal articles and excellent photos.
By contrast, AFO publishes the results of original work and behavioural and
other observations, even if these seem slight in themselves. Most
birdwatchers are likely to be interested in much that it publishes (although
not necessarily everything in every issue).
Many incidental observations have found their way into HANZAB from AFO, but
obviously had to be published to be available to the HANZAB editors. It is
important that some rigour be applied to the work in AFO and this is one
function of the reviewing process. The reviewing of articles is not to be
feared by authors: almost always a better paper is the result of review by
other workers in the field. This is a gain for authors and readers alike.
AFO does not aspire to be a mini Emu and relies on the work of amateurs to
fill its pages. That some professionals also publish in AFO enhances the
journal and is all to the good for its readers.
The preference for one style of writing over another is to some extent a
matter of opinion, but in a journal like AFO clarity is important. If
irrelevancies and padding are allowed to intrude, clarity is a casualty and
it is one job of the editors to try to ensure that this does not happen.
I suspect that many Birding Aussers may never have seen a copy of AFO. As a
subscriber I can assure them that they are likely to be pleasantly surprised
if they take the trouble to have a look (the BOCA website contains some info
about the journal) and they will also be better informed about their chosen
For those who wish to publish in AFO there is a standing invitation to
aspiring authors to seek the assistance of the editors if they think that
they need or can use it.
AFO is a quality product and its loss would be a loss to Australian
ornithology and birdwatching generally.
Birds Australia - Northern NSW Group
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